Qatar given further 48 hours to meet demands
The deadline given to Qatar to accept a list of demands or face sanctions which was given by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have been extended by 48 hours.
The original deadline given to Qatar to agree to the group’s 13 demands which included the shutting down of the Al Jazeera news network had expired on Sunday. Qatar has said that a formal response in a letter delivered to Kuwait will be submitted on Monday, 3rd July 2017. Qatar has denied allegation from the group that it funds extremism.
On Monday, 3rd July 2017, Qatar’s foreign minister will personally deliver the letter which was sent from the emir of Qatar to the emir of Kuwait. The emir of Kuwait is the main mediator in the Gulf crisis. Earlier on Saturday, 1st June 2017, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani had said that the state had rejected the demands, however given the right conditions it was ready to engage in a dialogue.
Unprecedented diplomatic and economic sanctions have been imposed for weeks on Qatar by Saudia Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. A 10 days deadline had been set for Qatar to agree to the requirements which were put forward by Saudi Arabia and its allies on 23rd June 2017. The demands had included closure of a Turkish military base and the curbing of diplomatic relations with Iran.
The restriction which have been imposed on Qatar which is an oil and gas rich nation, however it is dependent on imports to meet the requirements of its population of 2.7 million. Turkey has been supporting Qatar by providing it with necessary supplies.
Qatar has been accused by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain of harboring their opponents which include political Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Brotherhood is viewed as a particular threat by the absolute monarchies it is further accused of giving it a platform in the shape of Al-Jazeera which is funded by the Qatari state.
One month ago diplomatic and travel ties had been cut off by the four countries with Qatar, which have accused it of supporting terrorism and being an ally of regional foe Iran. These charges have been denied by Doha.
The lists of demands which have to be fulfilled by Qatar include
- Sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned in a handful of Arab states
- Refuse to naturalise citizens from the four countries and expel those currently on its territory, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs
- Hand over all individuals who are wanted by the four countries for terrorism
- Stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the US
- Provide detailed information about opposition figures whom Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations
- Align itself politically, economically and otherwise with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)
- Stop funding other news outlets in addition to Al Jazeera, including Arabi21 and Middle East Eye
- Pay an unspecified sum in compensation
According to an unnamed official from one of the four countries who told a news agency that Qatar was also being asked to sever links with so-called Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah.
The list of demands has not been officially unveiled and their publication has increased the friction between the two sides.
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